" Captain," Mr. Sills said, and coughed dryly,
"Yes?" Captain Todd answered.
" Captain, I believe it's common knowledge you were in the
Klan. Down in Tennessee."
" And you were in the war."
" Four years," the Captain answered, nodding.
" And, Captain "—Mr. Sills coughed again—" I've heard it
said that right after the war, hefore the Klan got started, you
and some other men just out of the war took care of a gang
of bushwhackers and guerrillas in East Tennessee. Is that
" We hanged them," the Captain admitted. " Nobody else
would, so we did it. Blackguards and desperadoes."
"Well?" Mr. Sills said, and leaned back in his chair.
Mr. Morse struck the table with his pipe as though with a
gavel. " All that has no bearing, no bearing at all. Captain
Todd is not talking about resigning from the night riders.
Whoever they are. He's talking about resigning from the
" Well?" Mr. Sills repeated, still looking at Captain Todd.
" Well, what?" Captain Todd demanded,
" Well, I was just thinking-----" Mr. Sills began.
Mr. Morse rapped with his pipe.
"Begging your pardon, Mr. Chairman," the Captain said.
Then to Mr. Sills: " You mean I haven't got the stomach I
used to have. Is that it?"
" I was in the war and in the Klan, all right. And I helped
hang those men. I acted according to my lights, Mr. Sills.
And Fm acting according to them now. I thought I knew
who my people were then. I still think I knew. I didn't
think a man had much choice when it came to taking sides,
and all. Mr. Sills—I just don't know as I can say who my
people are now. Or your people. And I mean no disrespect
—but I don't believe any of you gentlemen" do."
" It's all off the point," Mr. Morse said sharply.